About

The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon cutting 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep with the north canyon walls in Washington and the south canyon walls in Oregon. The mission of the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute is to create life-long learning opportunities that foster a sense of wonder and community [...]

Programs

The Ecology Institute’s SECRETS program has served regional schools since 1996.  From a handful of classes when it began, the SECRETS program now reaches almost every 5th grade classroom in a 2,000 square mile service area and is known as the leading educational resource throughout the region. In addition, our Science in Action program offers [...]

Support Us

There’s many ways you can support the Institute, through donations, volunteering, program sponsorship.  You can also learn more on how to support the Institute through other gifts of stock or estate planning. You can also go ahead and make a tax-deductible donation today with the link to the right.  

Nature Notes

Why do we love environmental and place-based education?  Because we love the outdoor world and want to share our enthusiasm with you!  Welcome to Nature Notes: posts on our blog to tell you when the first grass widows bloom, what species are migrating through the Gorge, or fun facts about trees you see every day.

But we need your help.  Let us know when you see new flowers blooming or interesting wildlife.  Ask us questions about the natural world.  We will create a Nature Note and share it on our blog, our Facebook page, and our twitter feed (@GorgeEcology).  So make sure you’re following us to get the latest updates about the beautiful place we live!

To make a Nature Note on a recent wildflower or wildlife sighting in the Gorge fill out the form below and attach a photo if you have one.  We’ll compile reports, post them on our blog, and share on our Facebook page to let you know when a new Nature Notes post is up.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject
Gorge Sighting

Let us know what you saw, where you saw it, and a little bit about your story!

 

 

Blog

  • Drew Eastman leading students on an exploration of the Mt. Adams foothills.

    Outdoor Education as a Lifestyle

    “Don’t ever give up trying to get kids outside!” is what 90 year old Phyllis Clausen uttered as we brought closure to our discussion on May 3rd. These words have stuck with me and in some ways have been haunting me. With a work load that seems to continually increase, avenues for income steadily decreasing, [...]

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    Enroll a student now for our summer camp in August!

    Have your students join us this summer as we offer our Outdoor Wilderness Learners (OWLs) day camp August 11th-15th from 8:30am-12:30pm at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Designed for children that have just finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade OWLs is sure to be a highlight of the summer for any young camper. Cost is $70 [...]

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    Baby Birds in My Backyard!

    I have baby birds in a birdhouse in my yard! Each time I get near the birdhouse I can hear the babies inside chirping and peeping. Not having seen the parents, and curious to know what species of bird they are, I got a ladder and took a peek inside. While unable to see the [...]

  • It finally snowed!

    On Thursday February 6th, 2014 I woke up with hopes that the forecast was accurate and we were finally going to get some precipitation, however, I remained cautiously optimistic due to the lack of water we had seen this winter. As I sat in a meeting that morning, next to a large picture window, I [...]

  • Who’s Eating the Trees?

    Winter is on its way and sadly the beautiful fall colors are fading. Luckily we live in an ecosystem where it stays green, or evergreen if you will! But look around and you’ll notice many more pines are loosing their green dressings and unfortunately they are not just  getting ready for winter. The pines in the [...]

  • Where has the Wind Gone?

    What amazing crisp fall days and beautiful leaf colors we’ve been having. But I have been feeling like something has been missing… Where has the wind gone? Searching for the answer to the question lead me to explore a couple different ecosystems. The famous winds of the Columbia Gorge are created by the climate differences [...]

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    2013 Fall Field Trips Slideshow

    With all of the sunny weather we’ve had recently and our 2013 fall field trips complete we’re looking forward to moving into a snowy winter. However, we were fortunate enough to capture the sun with the majority of our field trips and had an incredible time expanding the sense of wonder within all of the [...]

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    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle your shoes?

    It could be argued that recycling may be one of the best ways for us to create positive change in the world. The amount of waste being created by humans is increasing all the time and is increasing more rapidly than even ten to twenty years ago. This increase of human caused waste is due to a [...]

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    Two new and creative ways to support us!

    Without any extra cost to you we have two new ways for you to help us in delivering our programs to the communities of the Columbia Gorge. The first way helps keep the world just a little bit greener, one pair of shoes at a time: Do you have an old pair of shoes taking [...]

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    New Online Store and Summer Sale!

    Emily’s excited about our new online store and our summer sale! You can get an eCOOLogy shirt and a Don’t Run from Bears book for only $20! Our new online store is up and running you can check it out now. In addition to sweet swag you can feel great knowing you are helping provide [...]